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West End-Lake Vermillion

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Coming from Wisconsin for the first time. Home water is Lake Winnebago. Picking up some friends/kids in Minneapolis and heading up mid-June. Couple of the guys have fished there before but I will have the boat and am trying to familiarize myself with the lake. Looking at map trying to locate fishing holes, structure, danger spots, etc.

Walleyes will be the first target.

I guess we will likely be putting the boat in at The Landing Resort/Restaurant/Bar. Looking for any advice help on avoiding pitfalls and having a rewarding trip.

What are the preferred techniques? Do people anchor and jig, drift, or troll? If trolling, I am assuming the off-shore boards will work fine. Are people trolling crankbaits, crawler harnesses/spinner rigs, or something else? What is the preferred live bait this time of the year? What are the best bait shops in the area? Who makes the best map of the lake?

Any help or even other places I can learn about the lake would be helpful. Trying to organize my rods, tackle, and boat to determine what I need to bring. Any places to avoid so I do not tear up the boat.

Please feel free to share anything that might make our trip more enjoyable including places to eat, visit, etc.


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Where do I begin? smile.gif Vermilion is one of the best marked lakes I've been on. If there isn't a hazard bouy or channel markers you should be OK. With a little common sense of course. wink.gif The main channel from one end of the lake to the other is marked well with channel markers and there are even flashing lights on the points of the main channel to help with evening navigation. Most reefs and shallow areas are marked well. Even so, at my parents resort we always get a shredded prop or mangled skag coming back to us each week. Some people just can't grasp the concept that land doesn't stop right where it touches the water. As far as tackle, bait, etc. keeping it quick and simple, worms and leeches will be your main two baits later in the year, and minnows may still be affective. Jigs, spinner baits, and floating lindy's are my top three choices combined with a trolling presentation. As far as the off-shore boards I've never used them and not many do around here. I see them being used on Mille Lacs and Winnie but not so much here. Not sure why, I would guess just because you aren't trolling over such vast areas in search of the eyes. Very rocky conditions in areas and tight trolling patterns (fish schooled up in a smaller hole) may make the boards more of a nuisance than a help. That's just me though. If you're out in Big Bay trying to cover some area then I bet they'd work well. Have fun when you get here and let us know how you did. smile.gif

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    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Tower area fisheries office has set the whitefish and cisco sport netting dates on Lake Vermilion, Newton, Basswood and Fall lakes. The lakes will be open to whitefish and cisco (tullibee) sport netting from Saturday, Oct. 29, through Wednesday, Nov. 16. Vermilion, Newton, Basswood, and Fall lakes are all listed as infested with spiny waterflea. Nets and equipment in infested waters may not be used in any other body of water unless they have been dried for ten days or frozen for two days. As a precaution, the drying or freezing practice is recommended for anyone netting in non-infested waters. Nets should be transported in sealed or watertight containers to a location away from the water where they can be frozen or dried. Aquatic invasive species transport laws apply to netters during the fall and winter months just as they would for anglers during warm season angling. Opening dates for netting are determined based on fish abundance, climatic conditions and vulnerability of game fish. Fishing regulations require that: A whitefish netting license is purchased. Nets are set after sunrise on the opening day and removed before sunset on the closing day. Only one gill net is used, not exceeding 100 feet in length and 3 feet in width. Minimum gill net mesh size shall be no less than 3-1/2 inch net stretch measure for Newton and Vermilion lakes. Minimum gill net mesh size shall be no less than 1-3/4 inch net stretch measure for Basswood and Fall lakes. Net stretch measure means the interior distance between opposite knots or corners of a single mesh of net, take between the thumb and forefinger and applying enough pressure laterally to allow the opposite sides of the mesh to touch. One end of the gill net must have a pole, stake or buoy projecting at least two feet above the surface of the water or ice. Gill nets must have an identification tag attached near the first float of the end with the pole, stake or buoy. Identification tags must be a minimum of 2½ inches by 5/8 inch, permanently bearing the name and address of the owner. Gill nets may not be set after sunset or raised before sunrise. Gill nets must be set and lifted by the licensee only, and must be tended at least once every 24 hours. A gill net or any part of a gill net may not be set in any waters deeper than 6 feet, measured from the lake bottom to the top surface of the water or ice. A gill net may not be set within 50 feet of another gill net. Whitefish and ciscoes taken by sport gill netting may not be bought or sold. About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning. Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be negatively impacted by recreational netting in shallow water. Minnesota law restricts the size of the net and its openings; requires that netting be done in water not deeper than six feet unless specifically authorized; stipulates that netted fish cannot be sold; and requires that only rough fish caught in the net may be kept. State law also limits net size to 100 feet long and 3 feet wide; allows one person to use no more than one net; and forbids recreational netters from possessing angling equipment when netting whitefish-tullibee. For more information about sport netting and fishing regulations, visit, then click on the whitefish and ciscoes sport gillnetting regulations, or contact the DNR’s Tower area office at 218-753-2580. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
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